Although physically weak, the White Mage can choose from a broad array of healing and defensive magic spells.Dawn of Souls instructions
The White Mage specializes in White Magic, able to heal the party and provide them with defensive stat buffs.
The White Mage's appearance is consistent across all releases of Final Fantasy, with minor adjustments due to improved graphics. The White Mage wears a white robe with long sleeves, a hood, and red triangle trim along the edges. In the original NES release they have red hair, but the Playstation Origins port gives them light brown or blond hair, which is retained in the Game Boy Advance Dawn of Souls and Playstation Portable 20th Anniversary ports. As the White Wizard they lower their hood to reveal their head, have a red collar around their neck, and their sleeves are shorter and tighter around the arm, allowing their hands to be seen.
The gender identity of the White Mage is ambiguous. Starting with the Origins port, in contrast to the generally masculine designs of the other five jobs, the White Mage has a feminine appearance. Additionally, the Dawn of Souls and 20th Anniversary ports give the players a list of pre-chosen names to use for jobs which are taken from other Final Fantasy characters; most of the names offered for the White Mage are for females, while the other five jobs have mostly male names. The official novelization Final Fantasy: Memory of Heroes identifies the White Mage as a female. However, no version of Final Fantasy assigns a name or gender identity to any of the Warriors of Light, and it is left to the player's discretion to do so or not as they see fit.
The ten names for the White Mage class are:
- Elia - Character in Final Fantasy III.
- Jenica - Character in Final Fantasy V.
- Kuku - Character in Final Fantasy VI.
- Luca - Character in Final Fantasy IV.
- Mikoto - Character in Final Fantasy IX.
- Noah - Character in Final Fantasy III.
- Ruby - Character in Final Fantasy IX.
- Sara - Character in Final Fantasy III.
- Sarina - Character in Final Fantasy III.
- Sherko - Character in Final Fantasy III.
In the Memory of Heroes novelization, the White Mage among the Warriors of Light is named Flora (フロウ, Furō?). She is the only female of the group and carries a shard of the Water Crystal.
In the Memory of Heroes novelization, Flora is a kind, gentle, and motherly youth, but is fearsome when angered.
The White Mage specializes in White Magic and it and its ugprade, the White Wizard, are the only job in the game able to use the full catalog of White spells. This makes them invaluable throughout the game, as they can heal party members, increase their damage output with offensive buffs, and defend them against enemy spells. The White Mage is particularly valuable in versions of Final Fantasy predating the Dawn of Souls port, as the recurring item Phoenix Down does not exist in these versions; if a party member is KO'd, the player will need a White Mage to revive them while in dungeons or on the field, else they must trek back to a town with a church. The White Mage's skill in healing and buffing allies means they sacrifice their offensive potential; they have a poor equipment draw for weapons and poor Strength. However, they have utility against undead enemies with the Dia spell and its upgrades, which damage undead enemies.
After completing the Citadel of Trials, Bahamut grants the party their class change and any White Mages in the player's party become White Wizards. The White Wizard has full access to all White Magic spells and higher stats than the White Mage, making them a pure upgrade. At higher levels the White Mage's lack of offensive potential is alleviated with access to the Holy spell, which can be very powerful.
Behind the scenes
A popular and well-known challenge among players is to beat Final Fantasy using a party of only White Mages, the perception being that due to their poor offensive potential, this would be extremely difficult. Issue 55 of Nintendo Power posed this feat to players in its "Power Player's Challenge" column. Power Player's Challenges required players to mail to Nintendo Power a photograph of their television with the game system in view to verify their achievement; three players verified as completing this challenge were mentioned in Issue 59.
The web comic 8-Bit Theater has Black Mage reading the Nintendo Power strategy guide for Final Fantasy in Episode 7, and he mocks the idea that four White Mages could beat the game. Writer Brian Clevinger included this to set up the comic's ultimate punchline in Episode 1221, where White Mage defeats Chaos with the aid of "Priest", "Shaman", and "Healer".
- Nintendo Power, Issue 55, p.64
- Nintendo Power, Issue 59, p.79